Q. What advice would you give a purchaser trying to decide whether to repair or replace equipment?
A. These decisions – especially on large items – involve much more than price tags. Our approach is to look at the condition and the standard life cycle of a piece of equipment. The older it is, the more objectively you have to weigh the cost of repairs versus the price of a replacement. Other factors we consider in the repair-or-replace decision are the advantages offered by a new piece of equipment. Improved energy efficiency can be a game-changer.
For instance, we have seen technology advances that reduce energy consumption, but also save time in terms of food preparation and clean-up. If a new dishwasher can make the back of house more efficient, or a new oven can cook food faster while improving food quality, these factors should also be part of the analysis.
Q. What is the most common mistake made by hospitality organizations when it comes to FF&E purchases?
A. Not looking far enough out. Many of these purchases are big budget items that warrant a bit of time to research and compare options. They also often have long lead times, and any attempt to short-circuit may result in after-sale premiums and / or in receiving a product that may not be the most optimal solution. At Avendra, we have some of the industry’s most knowledgeable associates including commodity and contracting experts – this knowledge base and key supplier relationships allows us to find solutions for customers from all tiers.
Even for customers that have specific models in mind, we are often able to find options that meet performance and operational specs at a better value – given enough time.
Q: What’s the best way to avoid receiving damaged goods?
A. It sounds simple, but people overlook this industry practice all the time: Check your deliveries for completeness and possible freight damage before you sign the bill of lading free and clear. Our motto is Inspect, then Accept. If there is freight damage, refuse the delivery. Most commercial deliveries use third party LTL carriers, and the majority of shipments come off without a hitch. But in the unlikely event there is a dent, a scratch, or a missing component, the time to catch it is before the carrier has left the scene. Taking the extra time to inspect will pay off, ensuring you receive what you ordered as intended.
Q. How can my FF&E purchases improve the guest experience and help me stay on top of the latest trends?
A. Hospitality customers are constantly looking for ways to refresh and repurpose their properties. Our experience helps us steer customers toward trends that increase appeal and potentially add to the revenue stream.
Examples would be properties that want to upgrade their pool and patio areas – we might suggest adding fire pits and patio heaters that encourage guests to stay outside and continue entertaining and ordering a bit longer. Another opportunity to enhance the guest experience lies in the meeting space area – adding charging stations to the meeting room tables, or even adding them as an option to a banquet chair provides convenience and value to the guest. Our objective is always to keep our customers on top of trends, in the smartest possible way.
Q. How do Avendra’s FF&E experts help the end-user avoid common mistakes?
A. Our specialty is asking questions. Customers often come to us and say they need a specific item they found on the internet – say, a certain kind of fryer.
Our job is to dig a little deeper. We might look at how the new fryer will be used, the capacity, available options, etc. A low-end thermostatically controlled fryer may be fine for a low volume operation; however, going with solid state will provide a faster recovery and better end-product, thus improving its usefulness and performance. Another model might cost more initially, but will deliver better results and lower energy costs.
This consultative dimension is what we offer customers. My recommendation is to always include Avendra in bids, because there’s no risk or commitment – and with us, you’re going to get the big picture.
Avendra’s FF&E Services team is a proven resource for replacement kitchen equipment and decorative furnishings. Whether you need pool or kitchen equipment, new ice machines, mattresses, lighting or banquet chairs, Avendra goes beyond simply comparing prices to source the best possible solution.
For more information or to speak with a representative, call 866-AVENDRA (866-283-6372).